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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have some stocking questions about my community tank. Here are my tank stats:

Tank: 30 gallon long
Filter: Eheim 2217
Plants: Heavily planted
Decor: One large and one medium piece of driftwood (both arches to make caves)
Fish: Two Bolivian rams (males)
Six Serpae tetras
Two dwarf bristlenose plecos
Five oto catfish
Six corydoras (three metae, two trilineatus, one 7 year old guy that might be julii, I'm not sure)
Current water: ammonia, nitrites and nitrates 0, pH about 7.4
Food: Algae wafers, zucchini, frozen worms twice a week

Do I have too many catfish? They're my favorite fish. I bought a pair of juvenile plecos and ended up with a male and female. I'm trying to decide if I should move one of them to my new office aquarium (assuming that I should ever be successful in cycling it) or if I should just buy a new pleco for that tank. I have never had a plecostomus before. Is a 30 gallon tank big enough for them? They seem to have plenty of room, but they also seem a bit territorial and I don't know whether that gets worse with age or not. They are definitely the boss fish in my tank. Are they going to have a million babies that I have to find homes for? Do they like the company of their own kind, or would they be happier apart?

I've had the otos for about three weeks now and they are some of the most cheerful, active little fish I have ever had. They spend all of their time playing in the bubbles from the air stone, eating zucchini and resting on the sword plant leaves. Very happy little fish, no problem there.

The problem is my corys. They just don't seem happy somehow. I know that's vague, but it's the best I can think of. I rarely see them, and when I do they don't look as shiny and healthy as my other fish. They seem nervous and unhappy. The only fish deaths I have had in this tank (it's been up for a year and a half) have been corys. Two of them were very old fish that didn't surprise me much, but over the past year there have been three cory deaths that I didn't expect. I know that they should be in larger schools of their own kind, and when I get my new tank settled I want to move one of the varieties over and expand both schools. But is that the only problem? Are the plecos perhaps bullying them? Is there any particular thing that a cory needs that other fish wouldn't miss?
 

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What is your substrate? Sharp gravel can damage Cory barbels. Are you feeding sinking meaty pellets? I feed my Cories after lights out if I have aggressive eaters that hog their food. Frozen Bloodworms are a favorite also, I see you do feed that. You can use a turkey baster to spot feed cats also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The substrate started out as nice layers of fine gravel and flourite topped with sand. Now, with all of my messing around and replanting things and the fish digging around there's a lot of the flourite on the surface. Do you think that could be a problem? Should I try covering it up with more sand? There are a couple of large sword plants in the tank; I seriously do not want to dig all of the substrate up and start over.
 

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Some plecos get quite large and are not suitable for a 29 gallon, long-term.

It's hard to say why your corys aren't happy, but I would try adding some other food, not algae based. Corys are primarily carnivores.

Corys also like being in bigger groups. As a rule of thumb, people tend to keep them in groups of six of the same species, but that is just a rule of thumb.

Finally, I have no idea what makes them happy. I recently moved eight gold laser cories from a 15 gallon long where I never saw them, even though they were the biggest fish in the tank, to a new 29 gallon, with lots of wood and rocks. They continued to fight for several weeks. The last two nights, they've been all over the tank. I have no idea why.
 

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My Gold Laser cories in a 60g have become shadow shy. They're in a tank in a back room at my shop so they only see me a few times a day and then only M-F. I've thought of adding some dither fish but the tank is for them, a few BNP's and a 100's of junk RCS.

If a stand at the doorway they'll continue to stay out but as soon as I walk in all the fish scatter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I used to give everyone sinking shrimp pellets but I feel like they never got eaten, they just got kicked under the plants to rot. They get tubifex and bloodworms twice a week but the way the tetras and the rams eat it is possible that they aren't getting many of them. I'll give the "worms in the syringe" trick a try and see if I can get more food down at their level.

I don't mind them being shy. If they want to hang around the back of the tank that's fine by me, I always have the rams up front ogling me and begging for food anyway. I do mind them looking sickly and dying.

The max size for a dwarf bristlenose pleco is supposed to be about 4-5 inches. I feel like mine have been the same size for a few months so I don't think they will get any bigger. But do you think it would be better to have one per tank?
 

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IMO the reason your corys aren't doing as well as they could be is due to your low numbers of each species. If possible try to get at least 5 of each species. I keep several species of corys and they only really shy ones are in groups of 3 or less. My corys seem to feed best when in larger schools.

I would move at least one of the BNP's to your office tank.
 
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